Creamy tomato fish curry

Creamy tomato fish curry

I Love Curry
Jonathan Gregson

This is a lovely, mild dish whose star ingredients are sweet-sour tomatoes and, of course, the fish. It is easy to cook for a delicious midweek meal, but also elegant enough to impress your friends. You can choose any fish you like; I like to use fish steaks in most of my curries, but monkfish also works well (though if you use monkfish, don’t fry it before adding to the curry; just tip it straight in). This is lovely with a pilaf or Indian flatbreads (see Breads and Rice).


Quantity Ingredient
1 teaspoon turmeric
salt, to taste
500-550g firm white fish steaks, such as halibut, halved
7 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 cloves
6 green cardamom pods
12 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 tomatoes, quartered and deseeded
10g fresh root ginger, peeled weight
6 fat garlic cloves
1/4-1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 tablespoon ground coriander
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 teaspoon garam masala
2 tablespoons single cream
handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped


  1. Rub half the turmeric and a good pinch of salt into the fish and leave to marinate as you cook the sauce.
  2. Heat 5 tbsp of the oil in a non-stick saucepan. Add the whole spices and bay leaves and, once they have sizzled for 10 seconds, the onion. Cook until golden brown.
  3. Meanwhile, blend the tomatoes, ginger and garlic until smooth, adding a splash of water to help, if needed. Add this paste to the pan with all the spices (except the garam masala) and salt, to taste. Cook over a medium-high flame, stirring often, for 10–12 minutes, until the spice mix (masala) releases oil droplets. Reduce the heat and brown the paste for a further six minutes to intensify the flavours. Add 500ml water and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for six or seven minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  4. Meanwhile fry the fish. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan until very hot. Add the marinated pieces of fish and cook, undisturbed, for two minutes. Turn and cook for another two minutes or so, until golden brown. Add the fried fish, garam masala and cream to the curry. Simmer for another three minutes so the fish finishes cooking and starts to absorb the sauce. Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve scattered with chopped coriander.
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